Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/25

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
15
CHANDRASHEKHAR.

Of a surety he looked young. He had neither moustache nor beard. His hair was dark for an English-man, and so were his eyes. He was smartly dressed, and the watch, chain, ring and other jewellery about his person were nice and decent.

He slowly came up to the ghât and going near the edge of the water said, “ I come again fair lady.”

“I do not understand that rubbish,” said Shaibalini in Bengali.

“Oh—ay—that nasty gibberish! I must speak it, I suppose. (Hum) I, again (aya hai) have come.”

Shaibalini: (In Bengali), “Why, is this the way to Pluto’s abode?”

The Englishman could not understand a word of what Shaibalini said, and asked in Hindustani, “What do you say?”

Shaibalini: (In Bengali) “I say, has (Jom) Pluto forgotten you?”

The Englishman said in Hindustani, “Jom? John you mean? I am not John, I am Lawrence.”

Shaibalini: (In Bengali), “Well, I have learnt one English word at least—Lawrence means a monkey.”

In the dusk of that evening, after being treated to a course of Indian abuse, Lawrence Foster returned to his own place. Descending the bank of the tank, he unfastened his horse from a mango-tree, flung himself across it and rode away. On his way a melody he had once heard mingling with the echoes of the hills on the banks of the Teviot came surging back into his memory. Now and again a thought flitted across his mind: The love of Mary Foster white as driven snow of that cold country, which over-powered me in my younger days, now appears like a dream. Does change of country beget a change of